A satanic ceremony in Oklahoma City have been met by a lawsuit from the Catholic Church, is a “black mass” and even airing of laws against bloodletting. Such public images of fear is not uncommon when it comes to Satanist groups, although they may not be eligible.
The satanic group, Dakhma Angra Mainyu, use the event to draw attention to religious freedom and to educate people about their faith. “The idea is to educate not only the members, but to educate the public and to kill Hollywood–projected images of our faith,” said the co-founder Adam Daniels.
Pop culture Satanism
Satanism is widely feared and misunderstood, often confused with witchcraft or even voodoo. Some Wiccan witches worship a horned god that superficially resembles a goat-headed devil. But the pre-Christian pagan witches did not believe in anything resembling a Christian Satan. The popular image of Satanists as sinister and bloodthirsty is largely a sensationalized fictional Hollywood creation.
Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey, has nine “satanic sins” which includes stupidity, arrogance, self-deceit, herd conformity, lack of perspective and counterproductive pride. Most of these are fairly noncontroversial: who would not agree that the world would be a better place with less stupidity, self-deception and crew line? These sins holding humanity back from achieving its full potential, and has little to do with worshiping evil forces.
According to Lewis, LaVey influential philosophy embraced and fought “Satan as a symbol of personal freedom and individualism,” drawing on his portrayal as a rebellious fallen angel in Christian theology. Satan, in this context, is not seen as a symbol of evil, but as a free-thinking hero who refused a freak, dominant ruler in favor of free will.
Although “satanic panic” peaked in the 1980s with wild and false accusations of satanic ritual abuse (where dozens of children, managed and led by careless psychologists and police officers claimed to have been ritually abused by Satanists), worries about Satanism remain with us ranging from panic during the “occult” influences of Harry Potter books to false fears connects Halloween to satanic activity.
Religious leaders in Oklahoma are sorry that Satanists making fun of Christianity and they are actually quite; much of the modern occult movements can be seen as a reaction to and rejection of mainstream religions, especially Catholicism. But it is also a political statement: If a religion has been allowed a place in the public space, such as civic centers, parks and courthouses, other, lesser-known religious organizations satanic churches have requested and received similar privileges.